One thing about the controversy over the burning of the Quran by the Florida minister is that it’s taken the national focus off the news that President Obama will give his second education speech on Tuesday. (By the way, the bonfire is off, so the heat may now be put on the president.)
Last year, Obama’s televised speech about the importance of education became a political flash point. Many schools either did not show the special address or gave students the option of not watching. Some local parents kept their children at home because they did not want them to listen to the president of the United States talk about staying in school and working hard — which was the entire focus of the speech. There were no hidden political messages, no covert efforts to get kids to demand national health care or vote Democratic.
There doesn’t seem to be a similar outcry this year to the news that Obama will deliver a speech Tuesday at the Philadelphia Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School
Or folks just haven’t heard the announcement yet.
The hostility last year toward the Obama school address was nuts. As a reporter, I have covered all sorts of speakers at schools, including candidates for office, members of Congress, pop stars and British royalty. No parents pulled their child out of school for fear of wild pro monarchy rhetoric.
We ought to be delighted that the president is making time again to talk about the importance of education in changing lives and expanding opportunities. I don’t think kids can hear that message enough.